Are all-in events the future of beer festivals?

No longer do beer festivals mean a CAMRA-led event that takes place once a year and includes a load of local cask beer and maybe some Belgian bottles, thanks to the new breed of events that have popped up showcasing a new range of breweries and payment tactics.

Moving on from the old fashioned sheet of beer tokens, there are now more beer festivals which are offering all-in tickets – where you pay for everything up front and on arrival, all the beer is included. No faffing about with tokens, token sheets or cash, you simply turn up and drink away.

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Indy Man Beer Con 2016 dates announced

The dates have been unveiled for the 2016 Indy Man Beer Con, which will again take place at Manchester’s Victoria Baths.

The beer festival will return for its fourth year on October 6 – 9 2016.

The 2016 sessions will be:

Thursday 6th October / 5.30pm – 11.30pm
Friday 7th October / 11.30am – 4:30pm and 5.30pm – 11.30pm
Saturday 8th October / 11.30am – 4:30pm and 5.30pm – 11.30pm
Sunday 9th October / 1pm – 7pm

The organisers (the team behind Port Street Beer House, Common and The Beagle in Chorlton) have not yet revealed any more details about the 2016 event, but expect breweries from the UK, Europe and US to be taking part.

There’s no info yet on when tickets will go on sale – but tickets for the 2015 event went on sale last June.

See more upcoming beer festivals, tap takeovers and meet the brewers on the Manchester beer events calendar.


Got a Manchester beer story? Get in touch.

Indy Man Beer Con

Thursday isn’t always the ideal day for a beer festival (especially if you start work at 7.30am like me!) but as it was a choice between that and the Sunday afternoon session, Thursday it was for our Indy Man Beer Con fun.

Arriving promptly at Victoria Baths for 5.30pm, it was a short queue and we were in. It’s one of the priciest beer festivals I’ve ever been to (about £10/12 entrance I do believe) but that included your glass, programme and a pencil.

After stocking up on beer tokens we headed into room two. And wow, what a room! I’ve never been to Victoria Baths before and I was amazed at what a great space it is.


We grabbed a spot on the end of a table and enjoyed a few beers (all on Untappd) sat in a stunning room.

But even more eye catching was room 1. This looks like it was once the main pool and is complete with changing stalls around the outside and ladders. Room 3 was slightly smaller but also had the cute restored changing rooms.


After a few beers we headed to Almost Famous for some grub. I’m a big fan of their food but although the toppings were amazing, the burgers seemed a bit smaller than the ones in their restaurants. Still delicious though!



We then nipped over to the Green Room. This, according to a plaque on the wall, was where users of the adjoining Turkish Bath went to cool down. It was a bit chilly but had a few tables so settled down in there. It was also the site of a bar by Port Street Beer House which was delightfully named Portable Street Beer House (I do enjoy a good pun).


We were joined by two of Ross’ friends later on and ended the evening at about 11pm.

Although we tried a lot of good beers (as well as some not so good ones!), the stand out beer for me was Summer Wine Brewery‘s Mauna Kea. While ordering another one of theirs, I was recommended this one by the chap who served me and given a little taster. I fell in love!! An IPA with tropical flavours such as coconut and lychee – wow! But alas when I returned for a glass of it, it was all gone. Such a shame!!

Indy Man Beer Con was definitely a well organised and very enjoyable beer festival – wide range of beers to suit all tastes, interesting venue, minimal waiting to get served and lots of seating. My only regret is that we could only attend on the Thursday evening especially as some of the breweries we came across in Copenhagen (will blog about it soon!) such as Evil Twin and To Øl were only available on the different days and it would have also been nice to stay til the close. Will definitely have to buy tickets earlier next year. Roll on IMBC2015!